Farndon Fields objectors vow to fight on

Residents are worried that the  large artificial lagoon on the site visited by otters will be under threat.
Residents are worried that the large artificial lagoon on the site visited by otters will be under threat.

Angry residents say they will “carry on fighting” after planners gave the go-ahead to a 230-home estate on the edge of Market Harborough.

The green light for the development at Farndon Fields came from Harborough District Council’s Planning Committee this week - despite more than 200 objections from local people.

Councillors agreed with the recommendation from planning officers which concluded that the extra houses would make a “significant contribution” to the council’s five-year housing plan.

But after the meeting, Farndon Fields Residents Group spokesman James Boulter said: “I’m extremely disappointed. It’s the wrong decision, and for all the wrong reasons. We’ve lost a battle but we will continue to fight and we will not give up.”

The new estate would effectively be an extension of the existing partly-built Farndon Fields development, off Farndon Road. It would occupy fields currently used to grow produce for Farndon Fields Farm Shop.

The large artificial lagoon on the site is visited by otters.

At the meeting, five local residents had argued that the planned estate proposed by CJC Development Ltd would concrete over a valuable wildlife area and overwhelm inadequate local roads and facilities. They also said the estate lacked a credible drainage plan and flew against some of the council’s own policies.

Resident Susan Garon added many residents felt conned by the estate, built on land they thought would remain as fields and accessed by roads built originally as cul-de-sacs.

But John Temple, for the developers, said the applicants had complied with all council amendments to their original plan, including reducing the number of homes from 270 to 230, providing a smaller replacement lake for the lagoon and even relocating a badgers’ sett.